Asian and Middle Eastern Studies Magazine Articles

November 25, 2021

Manjusha Kulkarni ’91, a Los Angeles community activist and attorney, knew she had to act. She met with the family of the injured student, worked with local school district officials on behalf of the family, and held a press conference to take a stand against violence against Asian Americans—a soaring statistic in 2020’s pandemic year.

Afghanistan landscape

November 24, 2021

FOR THE UNITED STATES, the war in Afghanistan was the most protracted war in history—longer than World War I, World War II, and Vietnam combined. Shortly after the seemingly chaotic withdrawal of U.S. forces in mid-August, the magazine convened a conversation among three individuals with very different perspectives on—and experiences with—the U.S. in Afghanistan.

August 24, 2021


Deanna Elstrom

I watched the COVID-19 pandemic unfurl from Tokyo, where my family lives.

In Japan, a strong cultural imperative compels individuals to be sensitive to the needs of others. This requires complying with rules that can be inconvenient, and even nonsensical, but are understood to be for the common good.

March 20, 2021


Daniel Kim

Emasculated and neutered or evil and calculating? Domineering dragon lady or helpless concubine? In twentieth-century Hollywood, the choices for Asian-American actors were few and far between. Often, the roles available were reductive and one-dimensional—stereotypes come to life.

September 29, 2020


Phil Tinari

He appeared on East Campus one tobacco-scented September morning in 1998, his reportorial concentration rendering him as inconspicuous as a man in a bright white suit and spats can be. At the front of the sun-drenched, wood-floored classroom, history professor Ronald Witt (1932-2017) taught Petrarch and Bruni to a few dozen rapt undergraduates. At the back sat Tom Wolfe (1930-2018), scribbling away in a steno pad.

August 8, 2019


Drew Korschun

Watashi wa watashi-tachi mo mata kõei aru Nihonjin de-aru koto wo akumade shinjite-iru mono de-arimasu.

“I am, and all of us are, glorious Japanese, and I will believe that until the end.”

Professor Abbas Benmanoun

May 17, 2019

How did you respond personally to the instantly notorious case, from earlier this semester, of a Duke faculty member seeming to challenge Chinese students around their speaking Chinese in a social space?

September 25, 2014

You’re an outsider who needs to operate as a n insider in a pretty confusing setting, a setting that, for a couple of years, will impose all sorts of expectations on you. Lots of obstacles for you to stumble over. Lots of rituals and routines to sort out.

July 22, 2014


New page turners on the shelves

Bravery, humility, loyalty, and service are the common threads linking the soldiers profiled in Valor: Unsung Heroes From Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Home Front by Mark Lee Greenblatt ’95.

July 18, 2014

Eleven years ago, when my wife, Leah, and I were far from home in the Anbar province of Iraq, American friends with whom we were traveling had a car accident. Three of them split their heads open on impact and stumbled out of the car onto a dusty highway strewn with the debris of war. A car of Iraqis stopped, took them into their car, and drove them to a town called Rutba. There a doctor spoke to them in perfect English: “Three days ago, your country bombed our hospital.

July 18, 2014


Safa al-Saeedi

I grew up in a household where my dad has been always supportive. He always praised women for their minds and for their compassion. I never got the sense from my father that women were inferior; I never felt that I was less than my brothers. Whenever he would see an amazing woman on television, like a scholar or a scientist, he would always tell me to come and watch. My dad supported me in my travels and when I decided not to be a doctor in my career choice.

April 28, 2014


Mousa Jawasreh

Nour has fair skin and gray-blue eyes, accentuated by her ocean-colored hijab and dress. She tells us how in love she is with her husband, how he waited three years until she was old enough to marry him. She speaks of her son as the only bright spot in her life here in Jordan, the only happy moment. She details the horrors of her father-in-law’s public murder in Syria and even shows us pictures of his flowery burial on her cell phone.

November 12, 2013

Mbaye Lo, assistant professor of the practice of Asian & Middle Eastern studies and leader of this past summer’s DukeEngage in Cairo program, reflected during that time about Egypt and the rest of the Middle East. He believes the dreams of the 2011 Arab Spring are still alive, but that Egyptians are in a state of “political exhaustion.”